Michigan Police Taking New Approach to Verifying Auto Insurance

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  • Across the country, the vast majority of drivers are required to have auto insurance when they operate their vehicles. However, a healthy but small percentage do not to do so, and now, law enforcement officials in the state of Michigan are focusing on a new way of cracking down on that kind of behavior. It might therefore be wise for insurance agents operating in the state to make sure that they’re doing all in their power ensure people there know about the risks they face for letting their policies lapse.

    A new system has allowed police in Michigan to check a driver’s insurance status just by running their license plate number, according to a report from the Grand Rapids Press. Right now, most police departments in the state say that they’re not doing this when looking for reasons to pull someone over, but rather to verify whether someone they’ve already pulled over may be providing fraudulent proof of insurance.

    “We’re not making that a primary stop,” Bay County Undersheriff Troy Cunningham told the newspaper. “You can, but that’s not what the deputies are doing. They’re looking for a more serious violation. At this point, we’re not making this a reason for a primary stop.”

    What’s the problem?
    Of course, many consumers say that this at least constitutes a potential invasion of privacy, the report said. Moreover, some experts also point out that the system – known as the Law Enforcement Information Network – may not be fully accurate because the data only updates every two weeks or so as insurers report consumers’ coverage status to the state government on the 1st and 15th of the month.

    The more that agents can do to help people understand how their auto insurance plans can impact their daily lives. Whether that means making sure they’re fully protected when and if they get into an accident, or simply avoiding running afoul of the law, and increased knowledge of the ins and outs of coverage, and why it’s so important, can go a long way toward not only helping them better deal with their policies, but also improve their relationships with agents and insurers alike. That, in turn, is very likely to lead to higher client retention rates and customer satisfaction scores for the agents who do the best job of reaching out.